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2006 Abstracts Stage 3

Philosophical Investigation into British Youth Culture in the Twenty-First Century

In my project this year I have decided to investigate the area of youth culture in Twenty-First Century Britain. What are the factors which make our younger generation feel so misunderstood by their elders? Using various media sources I have drawn upon examples of contemporary British culture where the younger generation seem to be veering off any track of recognised social development. These areas include crime, identity, media, artistic expression, drug use, gangs and many more. In my final project I hope to find some links between the changes in youth culture as we know it and some philosophical concepts which I have studied during my degree. The first section of my project will concentrate on the growing gap between the attitudes and characteristics of the older generation and the younger generation. I hope to use Nietzsche’s work on the master and slave morality to explain the reversal of the attitudes towards the elderly from a stance of respect for experience and wisdom to one of burden and frustration. It seems we now value the progress, originality and vitality present in the youth of today as far more important than anything the older generation can offer unlike fifty years ago when children were taught to respect their elders. It seems this has resulted in a loss of communication and understanding between the two groups, where the older group was once seen as dominant and the younger group as passive, we now encourage the youth of today and the elderly are either forgotten about by the state, or at least take a secondary role in society. The next section will address the growing need for our youth to differentiate themselves into identity groups depending on their fashion, music, consumer or social tastes. Whether it is choosing a particular group of friends or enjoying a special past-time the younger generation seem intent on defining every individual into a certain group or trend. Such examples as “Goths”, “Chavs”, “Hippies” or “Ras” are common in most school playgrounds. I will also look at internet sites such as “Myspace.com” and other blog sites and using the work of Vattimo and his “Transparent Society” text I hope to gain a better understanding of the growing need for personal narratives in the Twenty-First Century and why our younger generation require these categories to “fit in” with society. The final section of my project will deal with the growing concern towards the anti-social behaviour displayed by the youth of today. This will include all aspects of daily life from truancy, graffiti, theft, drug use, to more serious crimes such as assault and rape. Why is it we feel the youngsters of Britain these days have a lack of respect for authority? Could it be linked with some changing social dynamics put forward by thinkers such as Beck and Giddens, or the increased pressure put on our children to follow a globally fast paced, informational, consumer driven society? In my final project I hope to address these issues and find some answers to some of the most pressing issues concerning Twenty-First Century Britain.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 3

An Investigation into the Personal Experience of Modern Art in Contemporary Society

STAGE ONE. The primary stage of my project entailed research into the Baltic Art Factory and the Tate Modern Gallery. Comprising of multiple visits and enquiry into the intentions of the creators of both spaces. As well as research into the basic of museum and gallery theory. Bibliography includes: Smith, J. Alan, Baltic: The Art Factory. Gateshead: Baltic, 2002; Blazwick, Iwona and Wilson, Simon, Towards the Tate Modern. London: Tate Gallery Publishing, 2000 ;Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean, Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge. London; Routledge, 1992; Serota, Nicholas, Walter Neurath Memorial Lecture 1996: Experience or Interpretation: the Dilemma of Museums of Modern Art. London: Thames and Hudson, 1996. STAGE TWO. The secondary stage evolved from my findings in the first and led to research into personal experience when one encounters and reflects upon a sole work of modern art (that of Rothko). I also investigated the possibility of change in that experience from modern to postmodern society and the bearing of social and educational background on the experience of visual art. Including the theories of Pierre Bourdieu, David Harvey and Arthur C. Danto.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

In What Ways can People with Autism be Considered Free and is it Ethically Correct for us to make Decisions on their Behalf?

Territory • I wished to look at those with autistic spectrum disorders and the treatment methods that are used to attempt to improve, or even cure, this condition. Philosophical Concepts • I looked at Sartre’s and Descartes theories on freedom in order to make a comparison between the two. Key texts used were ‘Nausea’ by Sartre and ‘Meditations on First Philosophy’ by Rene Descartes. • Also given consideration was Kant’s ‘Categorical Imperative’ taken from his work ‘Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals.’ This was a deontological ethical theory, concentrating on the act itself, not the consequences. • Kant’s theory was compared with a teleological theory. I looked at Mill’s Utilitarianism to show the contrast between looking at the consequences of the act, as opposed to the act itself. Aims and Objectives. • To reach a conclusion on how much freedom those with Autism need/should be given. • To discuss whether those who care for them have the right to make decisions on their behalf, and if so is this compromising their freedom • Look at whether it is the act itself or the consequences of the act that is important in making an ethical decision. • Decide whether we should follow Kant’s older ethical theory or Mill’s modernised version of Utilitarianism.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 3

Advertising and Consumerism Rule our Culture: what Effects does this have on the Individual?

Themes: • In this project I look at how advertising, marketing and consumerism rule our culture, and the effects of this on the individuals existing within this society. The effects on the individual’s life such as freedom, happiness and identity. • The majority of most of our lives is spent working in order to make money, to purchase consumables. Consumables have become the indicators of status, rather than leisure time, or rank at work. For example what car you drive and labels you wear has become of incredible importance. • We now build up our identities through what we consume, and find a sense of freedom in the consumer arena. We feel that we are free to buy what we want and make personal choices, when in fact we are brainwashed and seduced by advertising and the mass media. • Is the world in which we are living a reality? Have we become so obsessed with objects and image that we do not know our real desires or what real fulfilment is? Consumer fulfilment is just postponing the emptiness of our lives, which is why we continue to consume, to constantly fill this void. Sources: I shall focus on three main thinkers, two sociologists Bunting and Bauman and the philosopher Debord. I shall also be comparing these thinkers to other philosophers throughout. • Bunting: I shall look at her book Willing Slaves, How the Overwork Culture is Ruining our Lives. She examines how we as a culture work exhaustive hours in order to consume, this desire to consume is installed in us through the media, advertising and marketing. • Bauman: I shall mainly be looking as his book Identity, and how our society saturated with the media and advertising has a huge effect on our identities. • Debord: I shall be looking at his book Society of the Spectacle, in which he critiques our culture. I shall be investigating what he means by the spectacle, and how he suggests that the society in which we live is not real due to advertising and the media. Our society is fake in a sense, and we have lost contact with our true desires and selves.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Glastonbury: a Religious Refuge?

In this project I plan to look at the inter-faith town of Glastonbury and the varying beliefs and religions which make it into the new-age subculture it is today. Then I will look into various challenges to beliefs and religions in general looking at such scholars as Freud and Marx and how religion may merely act as a comforting device . Finally I will investigate in what respects such views of religious belief can be applied to these new-age religions which are strife in and around Glastonbury and how they may simply be acting as a refuge. I will also look at arguments and so-called ‘proof’ as to how this may not be the case, e.g. miracles, healing etc. Glastonbury has been a site of pilgrimage for hundreds of years with people claiming a magnetic pull which draws creative and spiritual people to the area. It has become an inter-faith town with many incomers settling of various faiths and beliefs, making Glastonbury one of the most spiritually diverse places in the country.During the last fifty years there has been an increased interest in new ways of finding a meaning in life other than that of following established religions. This new way of thinking involves many different paths and each one is seen as having its own unique value and truth. All of these paths have a common awareness of the divine, although this is expressed in different ways. It involves going about everyday life whilst incorporating spirituality into it as not to get wound up in the material things in life. People who want to live this way find themselves drawn to Glastonbury; perhaps because of the many myths and legends, perhaps because it is where you can find like-minded people, and many different channels of which to express your spirituality. Religion as comfort. Do humans follow religious beliefs because they want protection from the world which scares them? maybe because it gives their lives meaning and purpose and stops death being the end? Also it may give people faith that someone or something cares for them and that their life and the world has importance. Freud:” what the common man understands by his religion – with the system of doctrines and promises which on the one h and explains to him the riddles of this world with enviable completeness, and, on the other, assures him that a careful Providence will watch over his life and will compensate him in a future existence for any frustrations he suffers here.” Marx : For Marx, religion was an illusion. It dulls the pain of oppression for the proletariat but at the same time it blinds them from their true reality. Thus, it stops them from seeing what needs to be done to end their exploitation. Religion is a form of social control keeping the rich rich and the poor poor.“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed culture, the sentiment of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

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2006 Abstracts Stage 3

Political interpretations of Deleuze and Guattari’s Capitalism and Schizophrenia.

The initial reception of D&G’s C&S was coloured by the twin presences of its authors and the situational context of the ’68 riots. Until Lyotard’s Libidinal Economy in ’74 the political interpretation seemed to close around an orthodox reading of Deleuze and Guattari rather than a reading of C&S. LE puts into play the structuring processes of desire on the political economy at micro-economic level. Stand must be taken: to side with which aspects of C&S? * Marxist interpretation of a capital (hard left) * Psychoanalytic relation of schitzo/capital (soft left) * Micro-economies of desire (libertarian) * Pro-capital destruction of despot (neo-cons). Current battle plays itself out across intellectual topographies (journal, academic publishing) and also Capital rips up every stable political settlement, but where does it head next… CCRU track capital-war-machine path of flight: 1. 1500. Leviathan. Command core: Northern Mediterranean . Target area: Americas. Mode: Mercantile. Epidemic opportunism, selective intervention, colonial settlement. 2. 1756. Capital. Command core: Britain . Target areas: Americas-South Asia. Mode: Thermo-industrial. Imperialism control. 3. 1884. Spectacle. Command core: USA-Germany . Target areas: Africa-Russia-Nodal:periphery. Mode: Electrocorporate. Cultural overcoding / selective extermination. 4. 1948. Videodrome. Command core: USA / Target areas: Expanded:nodal:periphery. Mode: Info Satellitic-supercorporate. Cultural programming / general extermination. 5. 1980. Cyberspace, Command core: USA-Japan-Germany / Target areas: Totalized extra metropolitan space. Mode: AI-hyper corporate. Gross-neurocontrol / intermittent media-format exemplary extermination, virtual biocide. 6. 1996. Babylon. USA-EU:2-China (metalocal command centres) / Totalized planetary space. Photonic-Net Hypercapital Neo-Organic. Neuroprogramming / AI:Capital:Media:Military fusion, constant entertainment extermination process.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Keano the Ego? Or the Irish Existentialist?

Roy Keane is one of the greatest players of his generation and one of the most controversial. This essay aims to come to a conclusion as to whether Roy Keane is an Egoist or an Existentialist. Aims and objectives: To critically assess the philosophical ideas of Egoism and Existentialism; To relate these philosophical ideas to football and Roy Keane’s actions and what he has said; To look at the evidence put forward and come to a conclusion as to whether Roy Keane is an egoist or an existentialist

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2006 Abstracts Stage 3

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll: Synonymous with Desire and Resistance to Imposing Social Structures

TERRITORY: MOTLEY CRUE. RESEARCH Research focused on reading autobiographies; The dirt (Motley Crue) and TommyLand (Tommy Lee, drummer of Motley Crue). Research also included interviews with local Newcastle based rock bands such as Firelight, Laconia and Fables Last Stand. DELEUZE & GUATTARI Early Motley Crue were minor, resisting and struggling against everything around them, including the present music scene and image. Later Motley Crue were major, as they grew successful and popularised a scene of sleazy hard glam rock. Motley Crue also exemplifies Deleuze & Guattari’s theory of desire as a productive force. FOUCAULT Foucault argued power and resistance were connected to immediacy and anti-authority struggles. Motley Crue were rebelling against everything present around them, with a strong attitude of anti-authority. Interestingly, as they got famous and successful they arguably became a source of authority for fans and inspired bands.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Advertising and the ‘Ideal’ Self

In recent times the body has regained value, the body is now used to sell, and we see massive amounts of advertising projecting the ‘perfect body’ causing the individual to strive for the ‘ideal’ self. “‘Looking good’ not only becomes necessary to achieve social acceptability but can become the key to a more exciting lifestyle.” Featherstone (1992) The body regaining value shows a shift away from the valuation of soul over body, and the religious connotation which that implies. Popular society has caught up with the shift we saw in philosophy with Nietzsche’s innovative views. In this project I have taken the work of Descartes who professed the ‘I think therefore I am’ maxim, devalued the material world and even our own bodies through his belief that everything could be doubted except the thinking thing. I have then compared this theory to Nietzsche’s valuation of the body and the actual world, through his belief that the soul is a function of the body. I have taken the work of a Modern artist, Helen Chadwick into account to show a contemporary viewpoint on how the body and soul argument has developed outside the realms of philosophy, she expresses through various, sometimes shocking pieces of art that the combined nature of the human body and soul. Through various cultural advancements we have moved away from our quest to spiritual enlightenment and have began our quest for bodily perfection and satisfaction of our desires.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

A Philosophical Enquiry into the Changing Views on Animal Rights through Time

Territory. I firstly looked into the fashion industry and how the use of fake fur was apparent within this industry. However, this lead me on to the enquiry of animal rights within today’s society and how this view has progressed or changed throughout time. Therefore my search extended to the implications of animal rights and how these rights are philosophically perceived through time, up until the present day. Aim My aim for this project is to understand how we, through time, have got to the age where real fur is being used within the fashion industry and how this choice has been affected by past philosophical thinkers and their influence on society. I will be looking at the relationship between humans and animals. I aim to introduce ethical thoughts and philosophical ideas and implement these into a comprehensible understanding of the change in attitude towards animal rights. Philosophers and sources. I am going to use Peter Singers All animals are equal, Mills’ Utilitarianism and Animal rights and Human Obligation by Tom Regan and Peter Singer. These will be my main texts. I will also use History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Terrorism

Can one consider the ethical viewpoint of both sides of terrorism? If terrorists believe their actions cause the greater overall good, would J.S. Mill condone them? Can the media be held responsible for the growth in terrorism? The growth in the media is consistent with the growth of terrorism, is this significant? The intention of terrorists is to reach a wide audience, does the media aid them in achieving their ends? What implications would censoring the media cause for us? Could it be considered to limit our freedom?

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Dead the Sublime, Evermore the Ephemeral

Introduction. The 20th century has arguably brought about the evolution, or rather devolution into, commodity and the spectacle. Life has become an experience not in itself, but through proxy. ‘Dead the sublime, evermore the ephemeral’ is an investigation into why the ephemeral seems more relevant than the sublime, and how a modern society reacts to such a notion. I will conduct this investigation with regards to travel, why people take on such an activity and how it has possibly changed the way we think. Instilled in travel is the quest for change, experience and rebellion, hence inherent in the concept of travel are other movements searching for the same ends. Punk is one of these movements, which I shall encounter in this project. Aims. In this project I aim to evoke the change in Avant-garde movements over the latter half of the 20th century. Focusing on the work of Ballard and Debord I will suggest why such Avant-garde movements arose and what they stood for, hence ultimately what they aimed to achieve through the movement. I will approach travel as a possible Avant-garde movement itself, in the dying age of rebellion, I will convey the issues travel raises when considered as a movement itself. I will ask questions such as will travel, like punk and other radical movements, be a movement itself; will it achieve its aims and will it ultimately become what it stands to reject? Concepts. I will be focusing on two philosophical thinkers, Guy Debord and J.G Ballard. They will provide my argument from three similar, yet different and individual perspectives. The concepts these thinkers evoke are the “Society of the Spectacle”, and the ‘Death of Affect’. I will investigate their ideas and explore whether they evoke meaning in relation to why we travel, the effect it has on us and other people.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Change in the Revolutionary Vanguard

The conception of the revolutionary vanguard has been pertinent in political thought since Plato’s Philosopher Kings. Indeed this notion has informed the superstructure of political and revolutionary theory and practice ever since its genesis. That is to say that there are a minority of elite, the ‘vanguard’, whom harbour superior sociological insight and who thus possess the intellectual capabilities to lead others to overcome their contextual peril. My central intention was thus to investigate the change in this very notion of the revolutionary vanguard. There have been a number of post-ideological reformulations regarding such a conception. However, placing such an exploration within the theoretical studies of my second year, I decided to examine several philosophers and protagonists of the vanguard, whom belong to the Marxist tradition, these being: Marx, Lenin and Gramsci. I then juxtaposed such theoretical assertions parallel to the post-ideological views of Zapatismo, which are the revolutionary views of the Mexican resistance movement known as the Zapatistas/EZLN. Territory & Change. My project thus traced the development of my central concept, being that of the vanguard, in revolutionary thought. Marx himself spoke little of the notion, yet the necessity of examining his thought derived from the work of Lenin and Gramsci whom pertain to the Marxist tradition. Both Lenin and Gramsci spoke of the notion of the Party, in which the dichotomy of the elite and the masses is both inherent and necessary for the revolution. Although Gramsci attempted to overcome its inherent elitism, he still necessitated the need of the leaders. However, within the contemporary thought of the Zapatistas, one can document an absolute abolition of the vanguard. One in which necessitates a ‘non-philosophy’ of listening-Zapatismo. These masked revolutionaries show that revolution does not have a face, but is a mirror in which greed is forced to see itself. They show us that we do not need a leader, but that we all may put on the mask of revolution and pertain with all those who dare say YA BASTA! (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!)

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Censorship of Violent Films 1975 – 2006

Territory: Having watched the short surrealist film ‘Un Chien Andalou’ (1929) I began to consider how the explicit violence demonstrated in slicing a woman’s eye had affected its audience. How would the censors react to such a film today? With this in mind I began to watch a series of controversial violent films, which had been produced from the late 1970’s to present day that had caused the British Board of Film Classification to take swift censorship action. My territory therefore is the change in censorship of violent films between the years 1975 and 2006.
Aims and Objectives: In this project I will aim to show that the many incarnations of censorship over the years are entirely contradictory and do not achieve the aims the B.B.F.C. intends of them. In addition to this I aim to demonstrate that the notion of violence has been severely misunderstood and discredited through ignorant dogma and that it is in fact a necessary and active part of human consciousness. Having watched a short catalogue of films, such as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1976) the Evil Dead (1981) and Fight Club (1999), I looked at how they had been viewed by the B.B.F.C. and what actions had been taken. From here I looked at how things such as the invention of the video cassette recorder and the internet had created an impact on the censorship of films.
Philosophical Ideas. The main philosophical concepts that were drawn upon come from Georges Bataille, while thinkers Bandura conducted experiments to see how television violence affected children’s behaviour. Bataille argues that eroticism, violence and transgression will ultimately defeat the taboos of society and that they are the key to changing bourgeois attitudes. This will be held in contrast to Moralist thinkers such as Mary Whitehouse and Margaret Thatcher!
Overview. A basic study of the relationship between film censorship and violence. How censorship justifies its position through psychological, sociological and philosophical means. How film censorship cannot achieve its aims. How violence is an important part of the human consciousness. By utilising violence we can transgress bourgeois attitudes as indicated by Bataille, thus removing unwarranted taboo and dogma in society.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 3

To what Extent can the Internet be understood as the Negation of the ‘Natural’ and the new Economy of Literature as the Affirmation of the Experience of Death without Dying

Object, Place, Event. The Internet and the World Wide Web of Interactive Global Networking. A Mechanism of Change. A new medium is claiming to absorb almost all older forms of media and literature which is very different from previous mediums. The Internet is a super integrative medium which moves one step further and claims to leave behind the physical ground of older media, transforming these into non-corporeal electronic data that can be stored and accessed beyond the constraints of space, thus making time the decisive criterion by which we should judge the new media age and the future of language and literature. This current media change is negating not only the physical nature of prose, but the individual as we know him or her, be it the author or the political individual rooted in a local community. This claims to change the self into a non corporeal being and thus can be considered in many ways to end 2,500 years of Western Metaphysics. The interactive global is not primarily a storage device, but rather a communication tool that attempts to build a free intellectual and emotional virtual community. In order to participate in this virtual community, one is forced to necessarily negate the physical conditions of human existence and to invent a virtual personality with an easily changeable identity. The Negation of the ‘Natural’. Has the internet destroyed the singular work of literature, of art, in such a way as to engender not only a loss of its aura or its affect, but its former context as transposed by the bourgeoisie to a secular ritual of the work of literature or art?

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

St James’ Park and the Postmodern Condition

I will be using the St. James’ Park football stadium in Newcastle as the territory for my project. What is postmodernism? – Crucial to my work on St. James’ Park will be an understanding of the postmodern condition and its relation to modernity. In my project I will look mainly at the work of David Harvey and Jean-Francois Lyotard on the subject of postmodernism. Is St. James’ Park postmodern? – St. James’ Park is a mix of old and new in design and construction. It stands towering over the city of Newcastle as a symbol of local identity. It is also home to numerous shops and corporate ventures catering for many tastes. I will examine to what extent the stadium could be considered a postmodern building, examining the idea of postmodern architecture. How has the rise in techno-science and increased capitalist penetration affected St. James’ Park? – Identified by Lyotard as key features of postmodernity, techno-science and capitalism are driven by the quest for development through efficiency. I will investigate what effect this has on St. James’ Park as a stadium and as a stage for football in a postmodern age. Key Sources: The Condition of Postmodernity by David Harvey; The Postmodern Condition by Jean-Francois Lyotard; The Inhuman by Jean-Francois Lyotard

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Love will Tear us Apart: is Every Relationship based on Conflict?

My territory: Domestic Violence. My Methods And Sources: Women’s Aid, The Women’s Shelter, Political Bills and Laws, Interviews, Questionnaires, Books, Magazines, Pamphlets. The Ideas: Husserl and Hegel’s influence on Sartre’s construction on his theories of love and viewing the other as an attractive object. The battle to one’s freedom from being viewed as an object. Krishnamurti’s idea of the importance of becoming a free individual to transcend an essentially violent society. My Philosophers: The Existentialists, Husserl, Sartre, Krishnamurti.

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2006 Abstracts Stage 3

What is Changing about the Music Press and where do we go Next? Plotting the Unplottable with Deleuze and Guattari

Introduction. The Rhizome and the arborescent model. The powerful tree trunk, here representing a hierarchy of opinion against the horizontal, discontinuous and free flight of the rhizome. The trunk is filiation. The rhizome on the other hand represents multiplicities. It has no beginning or end, just a middle (a milieu). It is a subterranean shoot, it spreads horizontally, and at certain junctures plateaus arise. A rhizome is about connectivity. It does not run opposed to the arborescent (or state) but it is a line of escape/flight, a different way. No one language in a rhizome, multiplicity. Arborescent might seek a universal language. Nomad thought verses state space. The overall aim is to investigate the music press and the changes that have occurred due to advances in communication and technology and to look at the potential future of the music press plus industry and the implication for the consumer, artist and the record labels. Plateaus. What are the new plateaus that have arisen due to advances in technology and communication? New web sites, the advent of file sharing. The consumer ideally jumps from one to another (metacritic.com) and makes informed decisions on what to listen to or buy. The eventuality of the rhizome might be becoming ‘a self facilitating media node,’ (Nathan Barley, Channel 4). What about those who can’t reach these plateaus? Is the arborescent structure still in existence? The event. ‘The best of all worlds is not the one that reproduces the eternal, but the one in which new creations are produced, the one endowed with a capacity for innovation or creativity: a teleological conversion of philosophy,’ (p79, The Fold, Deleuze). Deleuze’s theory of the event and the growing sense that music is becoming more about the event. The live sphere is the only one that doesn’t represent an absence. Can the press ever influence us more than the first hand experience? Examples, Polyphonic Spree, Arctic Monkeys. War Machines. The war machine is a kind of movement which is separate to the state, and it causes concern to, or somehow disturbs the sedentary cultures within the state. For the purpose of this discussion the arborescent root within the music industry could be equated with the state. Independent labels and bands as war machines. They try to mix the state apparatus up. Runs away from as well as struggle against the state. Eventually become recoded by capital, example Creation records. Reterritorialization and deterritorialization, capitalism and the attempt by the state to limit desires. Do the new plateaus mean a creation of desires. Hell is For Heroes and Captains of industry case studies Interview with an independent label and band. The band have been signed to a major, and independent, and a have released an album on their own label. Captains of Industry is run as a collective, skills which can be used are used. There is no management structure and yet they have been relatively successful. How much can a small label and a rock band do? The culmination of war machines to strangle the arborescent root. Bands that have been directly affected by the changes in technology- Arctic Monkeys, Wilco etc. Are there pitfalls to file sharing? Conclusion. Is the music mainstream music press losing its influence? How much did it have in the first place? Is there a cycle going on- the arborescent, the struggle to topple it then the creation of another? If we are bored of trees, why do we keep planting them?

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2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Capitalism A Schizophrenic Technique

An investigation into the nature and extent of capitalist domination today. Capitalism is the most powerful force that exists in civilised society today. Its networks of power are dispersed everywhere and it defines most arenas of our existence yet nowhere are its processes easy to define or hold accountable and capitalism has much to be held accountable for. Chapter 1 I will use Marx’s theory of capitalism as a base from which to better understand our contemporary capitalist condition. Chapter 2 I will use the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari to try and explain the schizophrenic processes of capitalism that control everything from who we think we are and how we think about right and wrong, to which countries we go to war with and how we justify our actions. Chapter 3 I will use the distinctly Deleuzian concept of Empire that is developed by Hardt and Negri to describe the force of global capitalist expansion now that sovereignty has passed from individual bourgeois states to the machine of capitalism with America at its helm. Chapter 4 will take a look at the theory of Empire in action with the philosophy of illusion of Jean Baudrillard. He uses the Gulf war as an example of how our perception of reality is altered to the point that moral and political thought are short-circuited. Sources: Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘Capitalism and Schizophrenia’, Hardt and Negri’s ‘Empire’ and Jean Baudrillard’s ‘the gulf war did not take place’